What's the Hurry

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					                            What’s the Hurry?

                         What’s the Hurry?
With so many failing in sobriety and so many groups becoming history,
one must ask, “What is going on?” Maybe a better question would be,
“What is NOT going on?” And what in NOT going on is the newcomer
is no longer getting the same opportunity to survive alcoholism as was
offered by the Authors of our Big Book.

While we do not have a clear picture of Ebby’s recovery, we do have one
of Bill’s. We know that he entered Townes Hospital on December 11,
1934 and left the Hospital on December 18, 1934 having had a Spiritual
Experience, while hospitalized, as the result of following the directions
that Ebby outlined for him and he lived another 36 years without taking
another drink.

We know that once Dr. Bob surrendered to the whole program of action
that Bill laid out for him after his failed sobriety of three weeks, he
asked Bill, “Don’t you think we better find a another alcoholic to try to
help?” That question was asked on June 11, 1935, the day following Dr.
Bob’s last drink.

Before another three weeks was out, they had talked with an attorney
who was hospitalized for his drinking. It was not their first effort but it
was their first success. To quote the Big Book on AA No. 3, “On the
third day the lawyer gave his life to the care and direction of his
Creator, and said he was perfectly willing to do anything necessary.”
He never had another drink.

One of the things about alcoholism that was well understood but no
longer given serious thought is the message that is given on page 24 of
the Basic Text:
“The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the
power of choice in drink.         Our so-called will power becomes
nonexistent. We are unable at certain times, to bring into our
consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and
humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense
against the first drink.”

          We recover by the Steps we take, not the meetings we make!
                            What’s the Hurry?

With that thought in mind, the “sponsor” would tell their story of what
their life was like during their days of drinking. How they came to
understand the deadly truth about their alcoholism. They would
describe the allergic reaction an alcoholic has to alcohol, which makes it
impossible to control the amount they drank once they commenced
drinking. And then they would describe the mental obsession that
produced the insidious insanity to start drinking even after they had
solemnly pledged to never drink again.         If the prospect showed a
genuine interest in learning what to do, they would then present our
Program of Recovery on a take it or leave it basis.

That procedure is clearly outlined in the Chapter on Sponsorship;
Chapter 7, “WORKING WITH OTHERS.” With the Problem (Step
One); powerlessness of body and mind over alcohol established and the
Solution (Step Two); the hope of a Power greater than ourselves or
alcohol that could remove the insidious insanity, the prospect was given
a Big Book and told to read it. And then the Big Book reads:
 “Suppose now you are making your second visit to a man. He has read
this volume and says he is prepared to go through with the Twelve Steps
of the program of recovery. Having had the experience yourself, you
can give him much practical advice. Let him know you are available if
he wishes to make a decision (Step Three) and tell his story (Step Four),
but do not insist upon it if he prefers to consult with someone else.” You
mean on the second visit? Yep, Take it or leave it! “Rarely have we
seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.”

And when we had that type of Sponsorship, Alcoholics Anonymous was
very successful in helping newcomers find lasting sobriety. But is that
the opportunity the newcomer is offered today? Unfortunately, not very
often. What the newcomer hears most often is, “Don’t drink and go to
meetings.” Think about that one for a minute. If they knew how to not
drink, they would have no reason to go to those meetings. Or, how
about this one, “Just keep coming back and you’ll be OK.” That, of
course, is a lie. The only hope for a chronic alcoholic is a spiritual
experience. So how long or how many meetings is the newcomer faced
with to have a spiritual experience? What has happened to “rigorous

One more time, let’s look at the statements that were made by those
who were so very successful:

          We recover by the Steps we take, not the meetings we make!
                            What’s the Hurry?

“These are the steps we took which are suggested as a program of
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried
to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all
our affairs.”

I see no reference to “ninety meetings in ninety days” in those two
statements. So, why do we hear such misleading advice being given to
newcomers? “Twelve steps in twelve days” was much closer to the
common practice during the days of great success.

“When anyone, anywhere reaches for help, I want the hand of AA to
always be there and for that, I am responsible.” The Big Book gives us
the experience and knowledge that has not failed those who take
advantage of that wisdom so we can be responsible.

And to quote Dr. Bob:
“If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any
other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is
in this book (ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS), I feel sorry for you. If
you still think you are strong enough to beat the game alone, that is
your affair. But if you really and truly want to quit drinking for good
and all, and sincerely feel that you must have some help, we know that
we have an answer for you. It never fails, if you go about it with one
half the zeal you have been in the habit of showing when you were
getting another drink.
       Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”

Cliff B. – (214)-350-1190
         E-mail –

          We recover by the Steps we take, not the meetings we make!

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